Wallet Fendi

Wallet Fendi

Their Select Committee on Economic Development includes corporate chiefs, business deans and tax consultants, all respected in their fields, but our state leaders cramped their ability to separate the Fendi Crossbody Black

In his current role as senior researcher, Allaway is a Capitol fixture who has written the book on the economic incentives literally. The Research Association's 78 page report, Fendi Mini Peekaboo Yellow

Instead of making their appointments by Nov. 1, as the law required, the state's top leaders missed the deadline by months. Apparently elected leaders can ignore legal deadlines, but I wouldn't recommend using that argument the next time a cop stops you for an expired inspection sticker.

Unfortunately, Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus might have muffed their chance to find out.

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Which brings me to Bill Allaway, a former president of Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, a group whose members include some of the state's largest companies.

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Allaway is not a radical.

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When state leaders asked Dallas billionaire Ross Perot to lead a Select Committee on Public Education in the 1980s, he turned the education establishment on its head.

Whether or not you liked the results, that yearlong study put debates about pre K, class size, teacher testing and the infamous no pass/no play provision aimed at football and other extracurricular activities on page one and the nightly news for months.

What else could we have learned if the Select Committee had been given the time to do a thorough, public review of those 67 programs over the past 14 months?

I learned Samsung is likely to invest $10 billion to $15 billion somewhere during the next five years. That would double what the Korean manufacturing giant has invested in Austin since 1996. But that investment is unlikely to be in Austin if the Legislature doesn't continue the program of school property tax breaks for large manufacturing.

I say the subcommittees are meeting "mostly" behind closed Wallet Fendi doors because I wormed my way into one subcommittee meeting recently, over the objections of Perry's staff.

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In Austin alone, we've had Samsung Electronics, Apple Inc. That's not to mention efforts to support films, gaming and technology startups.

To meet that schedule, the committee has divided into four subcommittees meeting mostly behind closed doors. Industry leaders with a vested interest in incentives and invited lobbyists apparently may attend, but the public is not invited.

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You can make a good living just advising a company how to navigate the maze to the right incentive(s).

legislative leaders have a say in various programs.

My, how times have changed.

wheat from the chaff.

Who knows what is working and what isn't?

By one estimate, there are at least 67 state and local programs giving incentives from tax breaks to grants for economic development.

"Economic Development in Texas," details those 67 programs.

You would think coming out of the recession, the varied ways state and local governments create jobs and encourage business investment with your tax dollars might be a topic worth serious investigation.

The public, the thinking goes, can catch up when the full committee reconvenes to consider its draft recommendations.

Texans vigorously debated the quality of their children's education and the Legislature did something about it.

´╗┐In debate over tax incentives

Those 67 programs he documented are scattered across state and local agencies. At the Capitol alone, the governor, the comptroller, the land commissioner, the agriculture commissioner and Fendi Bags Selfridges

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Isn't that a relevant fact that a community should know as the Legislature debates whether or to continue a program that is due to expire in 2014?

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The committee's first meeting was Sept. 5, with a goal of draft recommendations to the Legislature two months later.

Allaway suggests a single point of entry for companies seeking help. (I told you he's not against economic development.)

I don't know if Perry and Dewhurst's pursuit of higher office can be blamed or if, as darker minds at the Capitol suggested to me, a tight timeline for the committee avoids any criticism of the leadership's economic agenda.

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